On Brine: Scuba Diving Firsts + Wallet-Friendly Olive Tapenade

I went scuba diving for the first time today.

My brain is still trying to wrap itself around the enormity of this new world that I have only just discovered. Surprising that it took me so long, considering that my boyfriend is a scuba instructor and all (this is what happens when you procrastinate well).
scuba dive eilat
the picture of preparedness
How does one even begin to tackle this new world? I saw a fish with a vicious underbite! I saw a field of eels, perpendicular to the sand, delicately waving in the ocean wind! I saw lion fish! I found Nemo!?
(I really did see the Nemo fish, but please shun my sense of humor none the less)

When I am hit with the fact that there is still so so much in the world that is waiting—unseen, unthought-of, beautiful…how am I supposed to react? My feelings, or what I can vaguely work out of them, are somewhat akin to feeling as though I'm trying to keep shut an overfilled closet door . It is as though some demi-parental force is pulling at me, nagging me, whispering to keep moving, keep seeing.

And I wonder when that force will finally be at peace?
scuba dive eilat
Hey instructor/boyfriend, could you focus on
me not drowning, please?
Sometimes I do wish for the hunger to be sated. I miss my family. I miss friends. I miss knowing where to go for the best deals…

I miss—though it worries me to say—consistency.

And yet I know that I’m not ready, that it's not quite time to stop.

So until then, look out deep sea, here comes the Chowgypsy.
puffer fish israel
puffer fish, the owls of the ocean
I’m now going to stretch my “tie-a-recipe-into-your-writing-theme” muscle and introduce you to a….hmm…ocean…recipe…?

...Brine! Something briny!
kalamata olives storage
Yes, neighbor across the street, it's early morning and I am taking a picture of an empty can on my windowsill. Go back to bed.
Tapenade! Did somebody say tapenade? We are totally winning at this “let’s link ideas” game.
There are lots of olives in the Mediterranean. I mean, I just went diving in the Red Sea, which is connected to the Mediterranean Sea. And the olives I used are from both Greece (i.e. the Mediterranean) and Israel! Wow, this is even better than I imagined. Everything's coming together.

And here’s what I really love about this recipe: it’s strong. It’s feisty. You throw a little bit of this stuff in your pasta sauce or on top of a lonely cracker and suddenly you have this big complex Mediterranean-inspired masterpiece. This meaty and salty tapenade is the reason my Eggplant Quinoa Casserole is so absurdly delicious. It’s the whole idea of stretching: making a little something go a long way and suffering not at all as a result. This is how we eat well without spending tons of money.
In another bid to lower the price tag of this recipe, I threw in some cornichons (aka “crunchy gherkins,” and why wouldn't you want to eat something with a name like that?) and added fewer capers. I’ll never go back to a cornichon-less tapenade. It adds a crunch and wholesomeness that makes it perfect for sandwiches, or whatever else you want to throw this on. The parsley and oregano are optional, but it's nice to have some herby flavors to mellow out the brine.
easy tapenade recipe
Wallet-Friendly Olive Tapenade (Eggplant Spread)

Ingredients
·      1 cup pitted olives of your choosing (black is typically more mild than green)
·      2-3 cloves garlic
·      1/2-1 tbs capers
·      9 cornichons (yes, that’s an approximation)
·      ½ tbs dried parsley
·      ½ tbs dried oregano
·      1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
·      2-3 tbsp EVOO
·      1 anchovy fillet (optional)
Directions
Blend everything in food processor; add EVOO throughout the process until desired consistency is reached.  If that’s too easy for you, do it with glue all over your hands. That’ll teach you.
inexpensive olive tapenade
let's do this.
The Savings: I won't beat a dead horse, but seriously, this inexpensive tapenade is a no-brainer. It has a great shelf life, it has lots of flavor, and you only need a little to make a recipe a lot better. Those tiny $5 jars at the store just ain't worth yo time, honey.


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4 comments:

  1. I love the salty, briny combination of olives and pickles! It's been quite a while since I last made any sort of tapenade, but this is certainly a delicious reminder.

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  2. Glad to help you remember! I just finished tapenade with cheese and crackers for lunch...soo yummy!

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  3. Pressurized tanks are traded for quicker descents on a single breath with only a mask, weight belt, and fins, leaving no telltale air bubbles to scare off skittish fish.scuba taiwan

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  4. Scuba divers are required to undergo a training and certification course prior to they are allowed to go on diving expeditions. In truth, no reputable diving shop will sell or rent any equipment to a diver unless they are in a position to prove that they know how to use diving gear correctly and dive safely and responsibly. cayo diablo

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